GREENWOOD – The organizers of the Sebastian County Fair expect more people to show up for this year’s festivities than in previous years despite the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Randy Mitchell, spokesperson for the fair, said the Sebastian County Fair Association estimates that approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people will attend the duration of the event. The fair will run Tuesday through Saturday at the Sebastian County Fairgrounds at 530 E. Knoxville St. in Greenwood.
The Miss Sebastian County Pageant and Talent Pageant took place on Saturday.
The association saw 11,500 people attend the fair in 2019, according to Mitchell. The covid-19 pandemic prevented the fair from being held in 2020, although the association was able to organize a youth rearing event with certain precautions in place.
Mitchell attributes the expected increase to the association getting information about the event faster than before and in a way that has shown “tremendous results.” For example, the organization distributed its fair book, which provides an overview of the fair and entry forms for fair competitions, in late May or early June rather than at a later date.
Social media and the association’s website relating to the event also “really took off” in May, according to Mitchell.
“Just by the huge number of inquiries I get both on the website and through social media, and I think the fact that everyone missed it last year, I think it will be a big event this year, ”Mitchell said.
Mitchell said that while the association does not require attendees to wear masks during the event, there will be signs regarding social distancing throughout the fair. Hand sanitizer will also be available.
Anthony Fink, Fair Manager for the Sebastian County Fair Association, agreed with Mitchell that attendance will be higher this year.
“I just think people are ready to go out,” Fink said. “They missed going out and doing these types of events last year, so they’re so glad that we can have it this year, and just come and support the fair.”
Bob Purvis, executive director of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, said the fair benefits the community of River Valley. He said it served as an economic stimulus, with people coming in and out of Sebastian County to spend the money.
Purvis also described the fair, especially the agricultural aspect, as a “great opportunity” for young people.
“It encourages their interest in farming and ranching, which is always very important in Arkansas, and it’s important that we always raise people who want to be the ones who are going to provide us with the food we need. down the line, ”Purvis said.
The fair provides an opportunity for people to come together and have fun, according to Purvis.
Mitchell said the entrance fee for this year’s fair is $ 5 for ages 12 and older and $ 3 for children 6 to 12. Participants can also purchase wristbands that allow them to make as many trips as they want that day for $ 20. The carnival will open at 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Mitchell and an electronic copy of the show book available on the association’s website presented the program of events:
• Tuesday: Dollar Night, all tickets and rides will cost $ 1.
• Wednesday: The breeding show for the future farmers of America and the young people of 4H starts at 8:00 am
• Thursday: Kid’s Night from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. Cattle price ceremony at 6.30 p.m. Cow galette deposit at 8 p.m.
• Friday: Running of the bulls at 8 p.m.
• Saturday: Senior day from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Junior cattle auction at 5:00 pm
The fair will also feature food trucks, commercial vendors, live performances and a place where art and home economics projects will be on display, among other attractions, according to the Fair Association’s website.
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The Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair will be held September 24 to October 2 at Kay Rodgers Park at 4400 Midland Blvd. at Fort Smith.
Source: Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair website